So after our short five days in NYC, it was time for us to fly to Las Vegas! It was quite a late flight so we were pretty tired by the time we got through security at JFK and onto our Delta flight. This flight was probably our worst flight as it was over 5 hours on quite an uncomfortable, very full plane, I think it was the oldest of the planes we flew on. We got some complementary drinks but there was no food served so we had to eat at departures before the flight.
We landed at Las Vegas McCarran airport at around 23.25 and we were quite literally dead on our feet! It was such a shame we couldn’t have gotten an earlier flight because we had no time or energy to make the most of our first night in Vegas. We got on our pre-booked airport shuttle and got to the New York New York hotel for around 1am, but boy was it hot!! I couldn’t believe that in the middle of the night it was still so hot, then the driver told us that Vegas was currently experiencing a heat wave! It was still around 96F at 1am, which is about 35c… crazy!!
We walked up to check in at the hotel and I asked if there was any possibility of upgrading from our standard queen room to a Spa Suite, so the lovely lady at the desk searched the system for us to see what she could find. This is quite common in Vegas, I had been reading the TripAdvisor forums for a while in the run up to our trip and decided that it was worth asking! After calling the rooms allocation people and being on the phone for what felt like about 30 minutes, she finally managed to blag us a free upgrade to a Marquis Suite which was huge and had a four person Jacuzzi tub in it! I thanked her and gave her a $20 tip (I haven’t mentioned tips much but it is very important to tip in the US, usually 20% of your bill or a couple of dollars per drink if you’re at a bar). We made our way up to the room and crashed for the night!
Like New York, I had done lots of research and planned an itinerary for our time in Vegas to make the most of our two full days. We had some very exciting things to do! The first thing on the list to tick off for Vegas was to visit the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign. However it was so hot, around 40c in the day time, that even when we walked to the sign at just after 9am, walking outside was practically unbearable! We managed the quick ten minute walk to the sign from our hotel, snapped a quick photo and then made our way back to the fabulous air conditioning of the Mandalay Bay as quickly as we could!
Our main aim for day 1 in Vegas was to just visit as many hotels on the Strip as possible, do a little gambling and see some sights! We managed to visit Mandalay Bay, Excalibur, Luxor, New York-New York, MGM Grand, Monte Carlo, Bellagio, Caesars Palace, Flamingo and Mirage. I had also bought some Groupon tickets for the High Roller, which is basically a London Eye on the Strip, the tickets included a “happy half-hour” which meant you got to go into a pod with a bar and get unlimited drinks for half an hour. That was super fun and we walked away quite tipsy!!
We wanted to experience a Vegas buffet so for dinner on our first night we ate at the Mirage buffet. It was a pretty fun experience, I’m a greedy guts at heart so I was happy I could eat as much as I wanted! However the combination of alcohol and heat meant I really couldn’t eat that much so my eyes were definitely bigger than my belly. We got some cool grape Fanta from the funky drinks dispenser though! The rest of the night was spent making our way back to our hotel and doing some gambling along the way, here are some of our wins…
So on our second (and last) full day in Vegas, we had something extra special planned. A couple of months before our trip, we decided that it would be a once in a lifetime experience to do a helicopter flight to the Grand Canyon! So we were up early to get picked up at 7.55am and be taken to the little airport that the helicopters fly out of. We booked with a company called Papillon Helicopters and they were amazing! So professional and we never once felt unsafe. Our specific tour meant we could land in the Grand Canyon itself for a champagne picnic which was also really cool to get some fabulous photos rather than just flying over the Canyon.
It was ridiculously hot but such an amazing experience. I actually managed to get sat next to the pilot at the front of the helicopter so had some outstanding views of Lake Mead, Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon itself before we came in to land. The whole trip lasted until 12.30pm when we got back to our hotel so it did take up a big chuck of our time in Vegas but I’m so glad we did it.
Once we got back to our hotel we freshened up and headed back out to explore more of the Strip. I really wanted to try some cocktails in the Cosmopolitan so that’s where we headed first this time. We had a raspberry lemon drop martini and a Verbena each. The Verbena is the signature cocktail at the Chandelier Bar in the Cosmo and is a margarita based drink but they give you a little flower bud to chew on/eat which is supposed to alter your taste buds and make the drink taste different! It didn’t really do anything for us other than make our tongues numb but it was pretty cool anyway!
The Cosmopolitan hotel was so modern and luxurious, we decided that if we ever come back to Vegas (which we hope we will!) then we would stay at the Cosmo. Then we continued to do more drinking and more gambling…
This time we managed to get to the Aria, Venetian, Treasure Island and also did some shopping in the Forum Shoppes at Caesars Palace. Eventually it was time to head back to the hotel and change for our final evening meal in Las Vegas which was at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant in Paris. We were still pretty tipsy from lots of daytime drinking so we didn’t get chance to properly appreciate the meal but we did appreciate the nice bottle of champagne we ordered and the view of the Bellagio fountains!
We had a lovely time, the restaurant is so romantic and we got the best table by the window. After our meal we spent a little more time gambling (drunk gambling doesn’t end well!) and then headed back to the hotel ready to leave early the next morning for Mexico. Our time in Vegas went by so quickly, 3 nights was no where near enough time to experience all that Vegas has to offer. Since we got back home all we’ve done is talked about going back so hopefully we can get back soon for at least 5 nights!
Viva Las Vegas…